Originally Posted by c9h13no3
Sure its helpful at any level. But if you're playing 5NL, a $50 poker program is 10 buy-ins! TEN!
So if you're beating the game for 5 big blinds per 100 at 5NL, and a poker tracking program improves you to 6bb/100 (which is a large increase in win rate), the poker program will pay for itself in ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND hands!
On top of that, let me address this point:
I disagree with this as well, for two reasons:
1) You start focusing on stats rather than good play. I guarantee you the number of "How good are my stats" threads far outnumber the "what range should I be opening on the button against two fish" threads. However, it should be the other way around. HUDs cause new players to think too much about stats and not about good play.
2) The leaks they have are obvious and very fixable without a HUD. Basic hand analysis and reviewing your own sessions can ID the leaks you have pretty easily. And that stuff is free, and its a habit you should develop at lower stakes.
You do make some valid points, but:
1) Having a HUD is only one small benefit of using tracking software. Personally, I rarely use the HUD (only use it when I am playing over 4 tables at once). But I still look at individual hands and my session overviews as a whole and use that info to help improve myslf in certain areas that I feel I've been struggling with. Trackers also help you keep accurate track of your progress, instead of relying on selective memory. Having your HH's stored and sorted in one neat place may help the players with bad review habits get into good habits due to the ease of procuring this data. It's a pain in the ass to have to manually review and sort all your saved HH's from your harddrive and due to this many players simply don't bother. Making these stats more visible and accessable can only help the analytical process.
2) Tracking programs make the data easier to access and review through the use of filters. Many newer players have no idea what they are looking for while perusing their HH's, and tracking programs offer tutorials on how to use and filter the vast amounts of info from your sessions to make the most out of your analysis. Many players are ignorant as to what their leaks may be, and tracking software can help bring these glaring leaks to your attention.
3) As for the point of the program costing you 10 buy-ins. True, it does, 100K hands is alot to make up the difference. But, many players do not play just 2NL. Tracking software is also useful to small stakes SNG and tourneys as well. Something alot of people tend to forget. Plus, you get a 60 day (two months!) free tial, which is plenty of time to gain valuable insight into your game for no money spent. Case in point: I have used my copy of PT3 for the past 40 days, and in that time I have nearly made enough additonal profit to justify buying it when my trial runs out. Individual results may vary, of course.
All in all though, tracking programs only benefit you if you take the time to use them properly and can process the info presented. Using a program, with or without the HUD, alone will not instantly make you a better player. Like any tool, it can help make the job easier only if you use it right.